Rocky River (Ohio)

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Rocky River (Ohio)
Rocky River Lakewood Ohio.jpg
A shale cliff along the Rocky River in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation on the boundary of the cities of Lakewood and Rocky River, Ohio
Origin 41°24′23″N 81°53′14″W / 41.40639°N 81.88722°W / 41.40639; -81.88722 (Rocky River (Ohio) source) [1] Confluence of East Branch Rocky River and West Branch Rocky River, between Cleveland and North Olmsted, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Mouth 41°29′28″N 81°50′21″W / 41.49111°N 81.83917°W / 41.49111; -81.83917 (Rocky River (Ohio) mouth)Coordinates: 41°29′28″N 81°50′21″W / 41.49111°N 81.83917°W / 41.49111; -81.83917 (Rocky River (Ohio) mouth)[1] Lake Erie between Lakewood and Rocky River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Basin countries United States of America
Source elevation 657 ft (200 m)
Mouth elevation 571 ft (174 m)[1]
The Rocky River in the Cleveland Metroparks' Rocky River Reservation on the boundary of the cities of Cleveland and Rocky River, Ohio

The Rocky River[2] is a relatively short river which forms the western boundaries of the cities of Cleveland and Lakewood, Ohio. The city of Rocky River, on the west bank bordering Lakewood, is named after the river. The Rocky River was ranked by Field & Stream as one of the top steelhead trout rivers in the world, and has also been featured on ESPN.

Watershed[edit]

The river itself is formed by the confluence of the East and West Branches in North Olmsted at Cedar Point Hill (unrelated to the theme park of the same name north of Sandusky), just west of Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.

The headwaters of the larger West Branch are predominantly located in Medina County,where the north and south branches merge to form the west branch and flows and northward through, among other locales, the town of Olmsted Falls. The East Branch first begins in the Cleveland suburb of North Royalton, near State Rd. and Wallings Rd. Flow here is actually to the south, through Richfield and Hinckley Townships. The East Branch wraps around Whipp's Ledges in Hinckley Township, and begins its north-northwest journey. Hinckley Lake is actually the East Branch Rocky, impounded in the late 1920s/early 1930s. On its course back through southwestern Cuyahoga County, the East Branch is an important local feature in the cities of Strongsville and Berea.

The lower portions of both branches and the mainstem Rocky River flow through a V-shaped valley; the valley and the river are part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. The Rocky River valley is heavily forested, and a parkway along the river provides access to many different activities available in the park. Given the heavy population density of Cleveland and its older suburbs, many of which border on the valley, the valley provides a popular location for recreational activities that would be difficult in other parts of the city.

Pollution[edit]

Unlike other rivers in Northeast Ohio, the Rocky is largely free from industrial pollution and maintains a rustic character that is surprising, given its proximity to Cleveland and its suburbs. This is because most of its sources are in agricultural and suburban areas, which results in natural organic pollution and sewage, resulting in higher bacteria levels than rivers downstream from industrial discharges.

Crossings and tributaries[edit]

Aerial view from North toward the South of the river mouth at Rocky River, Ohio, USA on Lake Erie. U.S. Route 6 crosses on the Clifton Park-West Lake bridge at the picture's top. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers derrick boat dredges the navigation channel and maintains the breakwater.

The Rocky River valley is quite deep from the confluence of the East and West Branches at Cedar Point downstream to Lake Erie, at times approaching 150 feet (45.7 m) below the ground level on either side of the valley. This depth has required several high-level and low-level bridges to cross the valley between Lakewood and Rocky River and between Cleveland and Fairview Park.

Several of the low-level bridges which cross the river within the valley are subject to closure and flooding during and after heavy storms, but these low-level bridges are mostly used by local traffic on the Valley Parkway which follows Rocky River's course, and crossing it several times.

From North mouth upstream to South source:

Crossings and Tributaries of Rocky River (Lake Erie) ID
Name
GNIS
Coordinates
Elevation
Year
Built
Length
Carries
West Channel Rocky River 1072305 41°29′11″N 81°50′7″W / 41.48639°N 81.83528°W / 41.48639; -81.83528 (West Channel Rocky River) 581 feet (177 m)
1800639 Clifton Park-West Lake 1964 1,139 feet (347.2 m) US 6.svgU.S. Route 6,
OH-2.svgOhio State Route 2,
OH-254.svgOhio State Route 254[3]

[4]

Nickel Plate Road Norfolk Southern Railway
1801074 Detroit Avenue 1073890 41°28′57″N 81°49′52″W / 41.48250°N 81.83111°W / 41.48250; -81.83111 (Detroit Avenue) 568 feet (173 m) 1980 640 feet (195.1 m) US 6A.svgU.S. Route 6A,
US 20.svgU.S. Route 20,
OH-113.svgOhio State Route 113[3]
Valley Parkway
1808567 1971 839 feet (255.7 m) I-90.svgI-90
1830147 Hilliard Avenue 1925 860 feet (262.1 m) former US 20.svgU.S. Route 20,
Cuyahoga County Route 69
old Valley Parkway ford
Valley Parkway
Valley Parkway
1801325 Lorain Road 1935 1,230 feet (374.9 m) OH-10.svgOhio State Route 10
Old Lorain Road
1831623 Puritas Road 1977 195 feet (59.4 m) Cuyahoga County Route 189
1812831 1970 1,571 feet (478.8 m) I-480.svgI-480
1802046 Brookpark Road 1933 1,919 feet (584.9 m) OH-17.svgOhio State Route 17
Abram Creek 1037303 41°25′4″N 81°51′59″W / 41.41778°N 81.86639°W / 41.41778; -81.86639 (Abram Creek) 640 feet (200 m)
Valley Parkway
1830643 Cedar Point Road 1929 62 feet (18.9 m) Cuyahoga County Route 193
West Branch Rocky River 1067044 41°24′23″N 81°53′13″W / 41.40639°N 81.88694°W / 41.40639; -81.88694 (West Branch Rocky River) 659 feet (201 m)
East Branch Rocky River 1066697 41°24′22″N 81°53′14″W / 41.40611°N 81.88722°W / 41.40611; -81.88722 (East Branch Rocky River) 656 feet (200 m)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]